11 Magical Christmas Theatre Shows To Book For 2023

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16th November 2023

London’s theatres come alive at Christmas, with a sense of magic and wonder that even the biggest Scrooge can’t resist. This winter, the city’s stages will play host to heartwarming stories and timeless tales that’ll really get you in the festive spirit. From classic adaptations to innovative immersive shows, there’s a Christmas theatre show to enjoy with all the family.

For those on the lookout for Christmassy performances to book for later this year, we’ve rounded up the ten best shows taking place this festive season. Whether it’s a theatrical adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman to The Old Vic’s production of A Christmas Carol, these are the unforgettable Christmas theatre shows to book for 2023.

Christmas Theatre Shows 2023: 11 Magical Shows To Book

hansel and gretel, christmas theatre shows 2023

Hansel and Gretel

The Globe Theatre is set to stage a beautifully reimagined version of the classic fairytale, Hansel and Gretel, this Christmas. Penned by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, this new production tells the story of two siblings, Hansel and Gretel, left to fend for themselves in a war-torn world. As they venture into the woods, they stumble upon a trail of irresistible treats and a mysterious old woman with her own agenda.

Filled with music, magic, and hope, this stage premiere is a must-see for ages 5+.

When: 8 December 2023 – 7 January 2024
Where: Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT

the nutcracker, christmas theatre shows

The Nutcracker 

A London Christmas tradition for all the family, The Nutcracker returns to the London Coliseum for a limited run of performances. See over 100 dancers and musicians perform in front of what’s set to be a sold-out audience. 

Expect stunning set design and Tchaikovsky’s score to be performed live as you follow Clara and her Nutcracker’s story unfold. Book your tickets early as the return of the Nutcracker is set to sell like hotcakes.

When: 6 December 2023 – 13 January 2024
Where: London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4ES

a christmas carol, christmas shows london 2023

A Christmas Carol

Everyone adores Charles Dickens’ story of Scrooge and his journey from mean to nice come Christmas day. See the story come to life once again this Christmas at The Old Vic. 

Matthew Warchus’ smash hit production of the classic tale will be returning to the theatre. Brilliantly adapted by Jack Thorne, see all of your favourite characters from Jacob Marley to Tiny Tim, not to mention the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Owen Teale will be starring as Scrooge.

Even those who identify with Scrooge and his feelings towards Christmas won’t be able to help but love The Old Vic’s production.

When: 11 November 2023 – 6 January 2024
Where: The Old Vic, The Cut, SE1 8NB

Frozen the Musical

Sure, Frozen the Musical isn’t reserved just for Christmas – but obviously with it being about a Snow Queen and there being an abundance of snow (and the adorable Olaf the snowman, of course), it makes sense to catch it at the coldest time of year. 

Based on 2013’s incredibly successful Disney film, the production brings Elsa and Ana’s story to life, as well as providing your little’uns with hours of singing, dancing and fun. Expect breathtaking special effects, next-level set design and brand-new music from Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, writers of the film favourite, Let It Go.

The production is incredible – with many magical moments that will leave both kids and adults in awe.

Expect breath-taking special effects, next level set design and brand-new music.

When: Until June 2024
Where: Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5JF

Sh!t-faced Showtime: A Pissedmas Carol

For an adults-only alternative Christmas knees-up you won’t find anywhere else, head to “Sh!t-faced Showtime: A Pissedmas Carol” at Leicester Square Theatre from 28th November to 6th January. This tipsy festive hit, now in its fourth year, brings together the best of Sh!t-faced Showtime and Sh!t-faced Shakespeare for a booze-fuelled, fun-filled twist on Charles Dickens’ classic tale.

With a West End cast and one genuinely inebriated performer, each show is a unique, hilarious experience. Expect skillful improv, dance, and iconic song performances, all delivered with a generous helping of Christmas spirit (literally). A truly intoxicating festive show.

Shitfaced Showtime A Pissedmas Carol

When: 28 November 2023 – 6 January 2024
Where: Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BX

the gruffalo's child, christmas musicals

The Gruffalo’s Child

“The Gruffalo said that no gruffalo should, ever set foot in the deep dark wood…” Join the Gruffalo’s Child on a thrilling adventure as she defies her father’s warnings about the Big Bad Mouse and tiptoes out into the deep dark wood in this delightful adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s cherished picture book.

The tale unfolds on stage as she follows snowy tracks and encounters mysterious creatures. Filled with songs, laughter, and a touch of spookiness, this is a magical experience for all ages. Catch it at the Garrick Theatre from 1st December to 7th January, with tickets starting at just £10.

When: 1 December 2023 – 7 January 2024
Where: 2 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0HH

christmas actually, christmas shows

Christmas, Actually

London’s Royal Festival Hall will transform into a winter wonderland from 7-11th December for “Christmas, Actually”, the ultimate festive variety show curated by Richard Curtis, the writer and director behind Love Actually, Notting Hill, and Four Weddings And A Funeral.

This show promises a magical mix of live music, Christmas stories, poetry, and comedy with a heartwarming blend of festive spirit. Plus, a portion of the proceeds go to Comic Relief, making it the Christmas gift that keeps on giving.

When: 7-11 December 2023
Where: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX

Wishmas: A Fantastical Christmas Adventure

London’s newest festive adventure, Wishmas offers a captivating 60+ minute walkthrough experience that seamlessly blends theatrical entertainment with immersive wonder from Secret Cinema and Punchdrunk alums.

In the enchanting world of Wishmas, your Christmas wishes come to life as you meet Wishkeepers, Robins, and even Father Christmas himself. Starting at the Old Bauble Factory, you’ll explore magical rooms, witness your wishes take flight, and play your part to make sure no wish is forgotten. You’ll also get to set your festive spirit aglow with wintry crafts and cheer in the Wishmas Fair.

Wishmas: A Fantastical Christmas Adventure, christmas shows london

When: 14 November 2023 – 7 January 2024
Where: The Old Bauble Factory, 1 Launcelot St, London SE1 7AD

raymond briggs father christmas, christmas show

Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas

Get ready for a heartwarming Christmas treat at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre this winter as Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas, based on the beloved book, is back from 22nd November to 30th December 2023.

Join Santa on his busiest day of the year, Christmas Eve, as he awakes from dreams of sun, sea, and sand to prepare for deliveries and take flight into the snowy night. This family favourite is a must-see for all ages. Tickets start at just £10, and the show runs for 50 minutes – perfect for the little ones under 6.

When: 22 November – 30 December 2023
Where: The Lyric Theatre, Lyric Square, King St, London W6 0QL

Elf The Musical

Elf – the smash hit Christmas musical based on the beloved film – returns to London for a strictly limited 8-week season at the Dominion Theatre from 15th November to 6th January.

The funny and charming tale of Buddy (who mistakenly crawled into Santa’s bag as a baby and was raised as an elf) is way too tall and not so great at his job. When Santa tells him the truth about his past, Buddy heads to New York to find his birth father (who turns out to be quite high on the Naughty List). Buddy goes on the adventure of a lifetime, causing merry mayhem in Manhattan, but when Christmas Spirit dwindles and Santa’s sleigh crashes, will Buddy find a way to save Christmas forever?

When: 15 November 2023 – 6 January 2024
Where: Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Rd, W1T 7AQ

the snowman, christmas theatre shows 2023

The Snowman

Who doesn’t love the heartwarming story of the boy who becomes friends with his snowman? This Christmas, fly across the winter skies and into the Peacock Theatre as Raymond Briggs’ winter novel come to life on the big stage for its 25th year. Fall back in love with the festive classic thanks to Bill Alexander’s directorial magic, music and lyrics from Howard Blake, including everyone’s favourite ‘Walking in the Air’, and choreography by Robert North. 

Watch the magic unfold through beautiful storytelling, dance, live music, and whimsical sets that bring this enchanted winter wonderland to life. Perfect for children, adults and everyone in between, this is one magical snowy production you won’t want to miss.

When: 18 November – 30 December 2023
Where: Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, WC2A 2HT

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